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frog_foot

join:2003-07-31
Adrian, MI

1 edit

2 recommendations

You CAN turn off WGA Notification

I found this little bit of software and no more 'phone home' to Microsoft.

What is RemoveWGA?

RemoveWGA enables you to remove the Microsoft "Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications" tool, which is calling home and connect to Microsoft servers every time you boot. Futures updates of this notification tool will (officialy) setup the connection rate to once every two weeks.

Once the WGA Notification tool has checked your OS and has confirmed you had a legit copy, there is no decent point or reason to check it again and again every boot. Moreover, connecting to Microsoft brings security issue for corporate networks, and privacy issues for everyone. It is also unclear which information are transmitted (Microsoft published an official answer, but an individual study brought some questions). All of that, along the fact that Microsoft used deceptive ways to make you install this tool (it was told you it was an urgent security update, whereas it is a new installation giving you no extra security) makes me calling this tool a spyware.

Also, Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications is different than Windows Genuine Advantage Validation. RemoveWGA only remove the notification part, phoning home, and does not touch the Validation part. As the time I'm writing this, the Validation part is mandatory for some not critical downloads from Microsoft, but the Notification part is not mandatory at all, and you are able to install all of the security updates without installing this one. This may change in the future thought, I don't know what are the Microsoft plans.
You can download it here

»www.dozleng.com/updates/index.ph···id=27454

or from the author's home page which is here

»www.firewallleaktester.com/removewga.htm

I turned off AU, so that the yellow alert flag wasn't sitting in the system tray bugging me, because it wants to download WGA notification again.
--
Frogs have it easy. They can eat what bugs them.



Buddel
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Premium
join:2004-03-06
EU
kudos:3

2 recommendations

»[link--info] RemoveWGA Tool

»[Update] RemoveWGA v1.01 Released



POB
Res Firma Mitescere Nescit
Premium
join:2003-02-13
Stepford, CA

1 recommendation

reply to frog_foot

Is WGA exclusively an XP thing? How would I know it's on my Win2k box. I suspect it may be since when I downloaded SP3 like a month ago, it wouldn't let me unless I allowed Microcrap to spread the digital cheeks of my pc and examine every orifice.



AB
Premium
join:2006-04-04
Leesburg, VA
kudos:3

said by POB:

Is WGA exclusively an XP thing? How would I know it's on my Win2k box. I suspect it may be since when I downloaded SP3 like a month ago, it wouldn't let me unless I allowed Microcrap to spread the digital cheeks of my pc and examine every orifice.
You were supposed to go to that site I sent you to major, to find out if that tool worked on 2000. No go?
And btw, if WGA is on your box, you'll have something in Task Manager and/or Prefetch and/or Software Distribution to that effect.
--
The lunatic is on the prowl.


altermatt
Premium
join:2004-01-22
White Plains, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to POB

Note that the WGA VALIDATION is different from the Notification, which this relates to. The Validation is now required to download many updates, etc. but the Notification (the phone home crap) is NOT (yet.)

BTW, the tool mentioned is up to 1.02, not 1.01 and so far seems to work just fine.
--
The truth of a thing is the feel of it, not the think of it. -- Stanley Kubrick



jamie b

@..4.reverse.jk3.info
reply to frog_foot

have you noticed this the other days what does work »MS calling Home problem - good info

jamie b



Sparrow
Crystal Sky
Premium
join:2002-12-03
Sachakhand
reply to frog_foot

Thank you very much for bringing this to our attention, frog_foot See Profile.



Trooper
Premium
join:2005-05-18
USA
reply to frog_foot

If you use this tool tho, you can't seem to dl any updates from MS. I just tried it and right away it prompted me to re-download WGA.

So I guess this tool would be useful for in between updates, but you need WGA for Windows Updates so it appears.
--
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.0.4) Gecko/20060603 Firefox/1.5.0.4



gkweb

join:2003-06-09
Fort Worth, TX

2 edits

@Trooper
Hello,

The WGA notification is not mandatory and you can still download all of the security updates without it, it won't block the others updates. You can safely remove it.
If you do not want to be bugged by MS about it, just check the option to not offer you this update anymore.

Regards,
gkweb.



Trooper
Premium
join:2005-05-18
USA

2 edits

said by gkweb:

@Trooper
Hello,

The WGA notification is not mandatory and you can still download all of the security updates without it, it won't block the others updates. You can safely remove it.
If you do not want to be bugged by MS about it, just check the option to not offer you this update anymore.

Regards,
gkweb.
I tried to dl updates and it would not let me. It prompted me right away to re-download and install it.

I will try it once more but there did not seem to be a way to bypass it.

EDIT: @gkweb. Just tried it again and my bad, you are correct. The only thing I did differently this time was clear out my cache etc. I doubt that had anything to do with it, but this time it went right to high priority updates with no issues.

Apologies if I caused any confusion for anyone.

Double edit: I am talking about this update here: Windows Genuine Advantage Notification (KB905474)
--
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.0.4) Gecko/20060603 Firefox/1.5.0.4


FiOS Dan
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Redondo Beach, CA

1 edit

Trooper are you sure you are not confusing WGA, which is mandatory, with the WGA Notification Tool, which is not. My understanding is you need to install WGA to receive future non-security updates but you can, and IMO should, tell M$ to take a hike with the tool.
--
Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.



Jigsaw
Stardust We Are
Premium
join:2000-10-21
Cleveland, OH
reply to frog_foot

That was Painless thanks for the heads up!!!



Maxwell76

join:2004-01-21
Lawrenceville, GA
reply to frog_foot

Click for full size
Funny thing is... after you run it, WGA still appears in Add\Remove Programs.

outback2k1

join:2003-11-28
Seekonk, MA

If all references were removed, then WU would just prompt you to install it again.



joako
Premium
join:2000-09-07
/dev/null
kudos:6
reply to frog_foot

I don't even know why people install that crap to begin with.

To install the WGA **NOTIFICATION** tool you need to accept a new EULA JUST FOR THAT PRODUCT. Goes to show how much people read.

I have a legit copy of Windows and I really dont need to be reminded of that.
--
Am Heimcomputer sitz' ich hier, und programmier' die Zukunft mir



Maxwell76

join:2004-01-21
Lawrenceville, GA
reply to outback2k1

said by outback2k1:

If all references were removed, then WU would just prompt you to install it again.
And it did, to which I promptly declined and told MS to never bother me with this "Update" again.

Don't worry joako, I willingly allowed WGA to be installed on my machine AT WORK just so I could play around with it. I was successful at deactivating it, now I'm finally able to rid it from my system.


gkweb

join:2003-06-09
Fort Worth, TX

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to Maxwell76

said by Maxwell76:

Funny thing is... after you run it, WGA still appears in Add\Remove Programs.
It is on purpose, RemoveWGA doesn't delete the registry entry related to the uninstaller line you see. It could be easily doable, but it would be more cosmetic than really usefull.

Regards,
gkweb.

Indy Sabre
Sabre Rider From Indianapolis

join:2003-10-02
reply to FiOS Dan

said by FiOS Dan:

Trooper are you sure you are not confusing WGA, which is mandatory, with the WGA Notification Tool, which is not. My understanding is you need to install WGA to receive future non-security updates but you can, and IMO should, tell M$ to take a hike with the tool.
So what updates do you miss out on if you don't install WGA? I have read a lot of threads about this but still haven't seen exactly what you miss out on if you choose to not have WGA installed.

One I know of is Windows Defender, you have to install WGA before you can install Defender.



dadkins
Can you do Blu?
Premium,MVM
join:2003-09-26
Hercules, CA
kudos:18

1 edit

I uninstalled WGA Notification and Windwos Defender updated fine.
»Security Software Updates 20 Jun 2006

WGA is different than WGA Notification.
--
Think outside the Fox... Opera



FiOS Dan
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Redondo Beach, CA
reply to Indy Sabre

I installed WGA right away, so I am going on heresay, but other BBR posters have said that non-security updates will not be possible without WGA.
--
Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.



altermatt
Premium
join:2004-01-22
White Plains, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by FiOS Dan:

I installed WGA right away, so I am going on heresay, but other BBR posters have said that non-security updates will not be possible without WGA.
Once again, as I said earlier and others have reiterated in this thread, WGA Validation *is* required to install many updates (as well as download some programs from MS), but WGA Notification (the 'phone home' piece) is *not*. It is the latter that the tool nukes; the actual Validation is still present on your computer.

If it ever does turn out that even the notification becomes required for something, I assume one could allow it to install, download what you wanted, and then uninstall with the tool. But at this stage, I've yet to see anything that won't install with notification gone, as long as the validation still exists.
--
The truth of a thing is the feel of it, not the think of it. -- Stanley Kubrick


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks

1 recommendation

said by altermatt:

said by FiOS Dan:

I installed WGA right away, so I am going on heresay, but other BBR posters have said that non-security updates will not be possible without WGA.
Once again, as I said earlier and others have reiterated in this thread
Thanks for mentioning this once again for it does bear repeating. There's plenty of confusion. Incidentally, I'm not so much angry at the concept of WGA Notification. But I am very disappointed at the somewhat surreptitious manner in which WGA Notification got on my machine. Microsoft had two choices. (1.)Offer this new utility as optional and explain it clearly and honestly upfront in bulletin format or (2.) Post a quick notice somewhere(CYA) and then mask it under critical security updates to get it on my machine. Tisk, tisk, tisk. et tu Brute?
--
"in flagrante delicto"


altermatt
Premium
join:2004-01-22
White Plains, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by bcool:

I'm not so much angry at the concept of WGA Notification. But I am very disappointed at the somewhat surreptitious manner in which WGA Notification got on my machine.
Of course, that IS the worst part. Calling something that is totally for their convenience and that provides nothing but lost resources and potential security holes to the consumer "critical" is not even just sneaky, it's dishonest. Trusted computing?

Actually, unlike you, bcool, the entire CONCEPT of WGA Notification bothers me. While I understand and am not that bothered by the WGA Validation, a one-off anti-piracy measure.
--
The truth of a thing is the feel of it, not the think of it. -- Stanley Kubrick